Op Sceptre officers searching Image Bedfordshire Police

Operation Sceptre – action aimed at tackling knife crime

More than 3,000 knifes are now off the streets after being recovered from outdoor public spaces and a number of weapons bins throughout Bedfordshire.

This activity was a result of Operation Sceptre, which is the national week of action aimed at tackling knife crime and to encourage people to think twice before carrying a knife.

Between Monday 9 to Sunday 15 November 2020, Bedfordshire Police worked with partners to participate in a number of activities. Such as weapons sweeps, engaging with retailers and pro-active high-visibility patrols in areas most affected by knife crime.

Detective Chief Inspector Aaron Kiff said:

“It was a successful week of action and we are pleased that a huge number of knives and firearms are now off the street and can’t be used in crime.

“Tackling gang criminality, knife and gun crime is a priority for the force and last year there was a nine per cent reduction in incidents of serious violence in the county, which equates to 200 fewer victims.”

Officers from the Force’s crime reduction team emptied ten weapons bins before the week of action and found 3,216 blades and 14 firearms.

The bins in the north of the county were last emptied in March this year, and the bins in the south were last emptied in October 2019. The bins were emptied again earlier this week and a further 223 blades and two firearms were recovered.

Officers from the force’s community teams took part in four weapons sweeps across the county, where a total of five knifes were located. During the week, there were six knife-related arrests made, which resulted in two more weapons being seized.

A retailer engagement day also took place and officers were able to visit around 115 retail outlets to further educate and engage with supervisors and managers about the impact of selling knives to underage customers.

A number of them have signed up to the Responsible Retailer Scheme to ensure they are selling such items in a responsible way.

Detective Chief Inspector Aaron Kiff said:

“Carrying a knife has serious consequences. Not only do you risk a hefty fine and jail sentence just for carrying one, you are also more likely to become a victim of knife crime yourself.

“This is why it is so important for anyone who has information on knife crime in their local community to report it to us, as this helps us to build a better picture of the hotspot areas we need to target to keep people safe.”

To report concerns about knife crime, please do so via online or call police on 101.

You can also call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. They will never ask for your name or try to trace the number that you are calling from.

In an emergency always dial 999.

If you have a knife and want to get rid of it, talk to an adult who you trust and find out more about where you can get help. You can also find out more about how to dispose of a knife and where the weapons bins are located.